They carried on with their meal, chatting and laughing. Hudson told Seb why he’d arrived at the restaurant in the state he was in. How he’d been leaving the locker room down in Sparta when he’d been called to the training bay. A Human rookie from one of Unit Beta’s teams thought it would be funny to sneak up on his bear Therian teammate during a training session while the agent was in Therian form.
Seb groaned. “You’re kidding me.”
Hudson shook his head. “Everyone knows bear Therians do not like to be poked, or startled. The rookie had been warned, and decided to disregard the warning. Poor bloke was tossed across the room. He’s lucky all he broke was an arm.” Hudson’s smile grew wicked. “I can tell you he won’t be pulling a stunt like that again. Not after I finished with him.”
“Oh?” Seb chuckled.
“I was certain to explain in exceptional detail all the internal damage his organs could have suffered then explained how lucky he was he’d not been faced with a Felid Therian from Unit Alpha or he might have ended up with a crushed skull, or found his intestines dangling outside his stomach.”
Seb waggled his brows. “You have a bit of a wicked streak in you, Doc. I like it.”
They finished their meal, and Seb called them a cab, accompanying Hudson to his apartment building. Hudson insisted it wasn’t necessary, but Seb wasn’t quite ready to leave him. They stood outside the apartment building entrance, the cool evening breeze ruffling Hudson’s hair. Seb brushed it away from Hudson’s eyes.
“Thanks for tonight,” Seb said. “I really had a great time.”
Hudson leaned against the doorframe facing Seb. “As did I. Would you join me for dinner again sometime this week?”
“How about Thursday night? I get off at six. We could meet at eight?”
“It’s a date,” Hudson said beaming up at him.
Suddenly, Seb wasn’t quite sure what to do. He knew what he wanted to do, but what if Hudson got the wrong idea? What if he thought Seb was just interested in getting him into bed? Not that sex with Hudson would be a bad thing. Seb was pretty sure it would be spectacular, but he wanted to do this right. It was too soon to feel this crazy about someone, yet he realized he didn’t care. He was drawn to Hudson. Drawn to his beautiful smile, his handsome face, snarky sense of humor, and gentle eyes.
“Well, I guess I should go.” He ran a hand through his hair, feeling like a giant dork. Should he kiss Hudson? Was it too late to do it now? Should he kiss him on the cheek? On the lips? Would Hudson think he was being pushy?
The soft-spoken word snapped Seb’s attention, and he looked down, wondering when Hudson had gotten so close.
“Goodness, you’re tall.”
Seb chuckled. “Yeah, well, that kind of goes hand in hand with being a tiger Therian.”
“You’ll just have to put in more of an effort then.”
Seb studied him. “What do you mean?”
Hudson dropped his gaze to Seb’s lips before moving his eyes back to Seb’s. “You’ll have to meet me halfway, darling. I won’t reach your mouth otherwise.”
It took Seb a moment. “Oh! Sorry, I—”
Hudson stood on his toes, cupped Seb’s face, and pulled him down, bringing their lips together. Joy and sizzling heat flared through Seb, and after his brain finally got the message, he closed his eyes, wrapped his arms around Hudson, and held him tight against him, mindful not to squeeze too hard.
Hudson’s lips were soft, plump, and his mouth tasted sweet from the dessert they’d shared. His scent filled Seb’s nostrils, and Seb moaned when Hudson pressed closer to him. Their kiss was slow as they explored each other’s mouth, their tongues tasting, teeth nipping. Hudson placed his hands to Seb’s chest, his finger sliding up and slipping under Seb’s collar to stroke his skin.
Their kiss went on for what seemed like a blissful eternity. Until a bang somewhere inside startled them, and they broke their kiss.
Hudson let out a breathless laugh. “Noisy neighbor.” He hadn’t moved out of Seb’s embrace. His cheeks were flushed that beautiful pink Seb was coming to love. “Would you…. Would you care to come in for a cup of tea, or coffee?”
Seb placed a kiss to Hudson’s cheek then murmured in his ear. “I would love to.” His voice had come out huskier than he intended, but before he could worry about it, Hudson removed his keys from his pocket, opened the door, and grabbed Seb’s wrist, pulling him inside toward one of the apartments. Their lips were locked in a heated kiss the moment they were inside Hudson’s place, the door closed. Seb walked him over to the couch, not seeing the coffee table in the center, or the blanket half draped on the couch onto the floor. He bumped into the table, turned, got his feet tangled in the blanket, and lost his balance. Hudson very sweetly tried to steady him, but Seb’s weight was too much for him, and they tumbled onto the couch, Seb on his back, and Hudson sprawled on top of him. They lay very still, neither speaking or so much as breathing until Seb broke the silence.
“Would you believe me if I said that’s how we do it here in America?”
Hudson laughed softly. He looked embarrassed. “I’m so sorry. I always have a mess of blankets and pillows out here when I watch telly.” Hudson’s cheeks flushed. “I suppose I should get up.”
“Or,” Seb prompted, wrapping an arm around Hudson, then turning them so Hudson was on his back on the couch with Seb laying over him. He grinned down at Hudson. “We could make the most of it and go back to kissing.”
Hudson slipped his arms around Seb’s neck drawing him close. He nuzzled Seb’s neck, planting kisses up Seb’s jaw.
“Plus, getting up would most likely require another tussle with your blanket, so really, you’d be saving me from possible misfortune.”
Hudson smiled as he continued to trail kisses over Seb’s skin. “Well, when you put it like that, how can I allow you to take such a risk? It’s best you not go too far.”
“I mean, I barely escaped with my life.”
“Poor dear, such a harrowing experience. I think your bravery should be rewarded,” Hudson murmured, kissing Seb, his body warm beneath him. They fit perfectly together, as if Hudson were made to be in his arms. Seb smiled against Hudson’s lips. Something told him this was the start of something special. Seb could hardly wait.
Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press 2014.